28 Feb 2011

Deck Combstruction

Hello and welcome to this the third and final Magic the Gathering deck archetypes article. Today I’ll be discussing ‘combo’ decks.

A ‘combo’ deck involves the use of two or more cards, or a combination, to win the game. With the vast amount of cards at your disposal there are infinite possibilities to approach a ‘combo’ deck with.

This type of deck should aim to produce a combo that wins the game quickly but should also be reliable enough to produce the combo before your opponent has a chance to gain the upper-hand.

Although many decks have cards that interact with each other e.g. Squadron Hawk and Quest for the Holy Relic, they don’t constitute a ‘combo deck’ because they don’t necessarily create a win condition. This interaction is better described as ‘synergy’ or two things working in tandem with each other to boost the overall result.

One good example of a ‘combo’ deck has been Pyromancer Ascension.

The deck works by playing instants and sorceries to put quest counters on the Ascension. The player then casts Time Warp and Call to Mind to create infinite turns.

Another example of a ‘combo’ deck is Hexmage Depths, which uses Vampire Hexmage and Dark Depths to generate a legendary 20/20 indestructible flyer on turn two.

With the aforementioned endless possibilities of Magic cards it shouldn’t be difficult for a player to come up with ideas.

John of Team Gambit.


  1. Hey dude,
    Just wondering what the exact win condition is with the time warp thing? is it just that your opponent gives up, cause im assuming a creature based assault wouldn't fit with the ascension, but could also be blocked. Is it reliant on what the other instant and sorcerys are that your using?

    The second example, you say turn two, but the hexmage needs 2 black mana and the depths doesn't tap for anything? i would have assumed that the depths or second swamp would be on the third turn thus putting the mage into play either turn 2 or 3 and straight sacking? Obviously a turn 1/2 dark ritual would get the mage in. I wonder if there is a way to get the depths out sooner aswell, explore? but then you'd need a green mana. Or you could use 'Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth', making itself and the depths, swamps, thus turn two again :D

  2. From what I can gather, the Ascension deck wins by either creating infinite turns so your opponent will concede or, to copy burn spells to deal more damage. I think staggershock was a good one because you can copy the original for 4 damage. Then it rebounds so an extra 4 damage.

    With Hexmage Depths, I think its meant to be
    Turn 1: Swamp
    Turn 2: Dark Depths, Dark Ritual, Vampire Hexmage, sacrifice the Hexmage to get the 20/20